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Palladino M.,melli University Hospital | Neri V.,melli University Hospital | Stigliano E.,melli University Hospital | Smith R.C.,Tufts University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Vascular Research | Year: 2012

We have previously demonstrated that sonic hedgehog (Shh) gene transfer improves angiogenesis in the setting of ischemia by upregulating the expression of multiple growth factors and enhancing the incorporation of endogenous bone marrow (BM)-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). In this study, we hypothesized that combined therapy with Shh gene transfer and BM-derived EPCs is more effective than Shh gene therapy alone in an experimental model of peripheral limb ischemia. We used old mice, which have a significantly reduced angiogenic response to ischemia, and compared the ability of Shh gene transfer, exogenous EPCs, or both to improve regeneration after ischemia. We found a significantly higher capillary density in the Shh + EPC-treated muscles compared to the other experimental groups. We also found that Shh gene transfer increases the incorporation and survival of transplanted EPCs. Finally, we found a significantly higher number of regenerating myofibers in the ischemic muscles of mice receiving combined treatment with Shh and BM-derived EPCs. In summary, the combination of Shh gene transfer and BM-derived EPCs more effectively promotes angiogenesis and muscle regeneration than each treatment individually and merits further investigation for its potential beneficial effects in ischemic diseases. © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source


Piccioni A.,melli University Hospital | Piccioni A.,Tufts University | Gaetani E.,Tufts University | Palladino M.,melli University Hospital | And 14 more authors.
Gene Therapy | Year: 2014

The Hedgehog (Hh) pathway is a crucial regulator of muscle development during embryogenesis. We have previously demonstrated that Sonic hedgehog (Shh) regulates postnatal myogenesis in the adult skeletal muscle both directly, by acting on muscle satellite cells, and indirectly, by promoting the production of growth factors from interstitial fibroblasts. Here, we show that in mdx mice, the murine equivalent of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in humans, progression of the dystrophic pathology corresponds to progressive inhibition of the Hh signaling pathway in the skeletal muscle. We also show that the upregulation of the Hh pathway in response to injury and during regeneration is significantly impaired in mdx muscle. Shh treatment increases the proliferative potential of satellite cells isolated from the muscles of mdx mice. This treatment also increases the production of proregenerative factors, such as insulin-like growth factor-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor, from fibroblasts isolated from the muscle of mdx mice. In vivo, overexpression of the Hh pathway using a plasmid encoding the human Shh gene promotes successful regeneration after injury in terms of increased number of proliferating myogenic cells and newly formed myofibers, as well as enhanced vascularization and decreased fibrosis. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

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